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With a 150 people per day moving to our beloved city, housing is of great demand. At a recent Leadership Austin’s Engage Breakfast Series, the topic was “The Price You Pay: Austin’s Affordability X-Factor.” CultureMap’s Alicia Dietrich provides an exceptional recap. What peaked my interest were the points brought up by Chris Bradford of the Land Development Code Advisory Group.

“There’s no breathing room to build small, multifamily buildings,” said Bradford. “It’s very difficult — unnecessarily difficult — to even build things like garage apartments in central neighborhoods. One of the things we should be focusing on is making it easier to build small infill projects: garage apartments, making it easier to build duplexes, making it easier to build small multifamily buildings, to build four-plexes or six-plexes. Those can be added all over the place and provide a kind of invisible density that will be an important source of new supply.” 

Updating/rewriting the land development code would be a huge undertaking. This would require much input and I’m sure debates. Property owners would welcome a more efficient and less arduous system. Share your insights and viewpoints with CodeNEXT as they work to help create a sustainable land development code for Austin’s future. Neighborhoods, commercial development, affordable housing, character, politics… It will be interesting to see it’s end result.

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Interest rates have reached 3.5% now and the Austin duplex market is very strong.  We are seeing multiple offers on every property in the better neighborhoods if they are priced reasonably.  The last duplex in north Austin off 183 and Anderson Mill area had 4 offers on it.  Another duplex in south Austin off of Slaughter Ln, in a newer built duplex community (which is rare), had 2 offers on it.  The neighborhood is called Tanglewood and these duplexes are all built 2005 or newer.  Most duplexes in this area are built 1980s by the way, so are substantially older.
We just posted a foreclosure duplex off of Duval Rd and Mopac.  This area is close to the renown Domain retail and mixed-use project, which features an Apple Store, Neiman Marcus, and high end condos.  Please take a look here:
-Hong Lee
The Duplex Dianne Team

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Strong rental demand makes from strong duplex sale prices too. What a duplex can charge for rents is a ratio to the possible sales price.

AustinApartmentsForSale.com

Forbes Magazine has ranked the fastest growing cities in the U.S. for 2013.  Austin is ranked #1 at the top with extremely low unemployment and an economy that expanded 6.3% last year.  Job opportunity is driving much relocation and housing demand.  Homes and investment properties are receiving multiple offers.  For more details, visit:  http://www.forbes.com/sites/morganbrennan/2013/01/23/americas-fastest-growing-cities/

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Duplex prices

It appears that Austin duplex values are tapering off, which means it is a great opportunity for buyers.  A good quality Austin duplex, depending on the desired area, may be in the $170k to $220k price range.  Considering the median home price of Austin is about $220k, this represents a great value and opportunity:  start home ownership AND an investment at the same time.  Someone told me, “I don’t want to live in a duplex forever…”  Well you don’t have too – consider living there for a short time (maybe 1 year) then upgrade yourself with a bigger duplex or single family house.  A duplex is already has the benefits of a house:  front yard, back yard, and garage.  Be a serial duplex buyer and get the great owner-occupant interest rates versus the higher investor interest rate.

An owner-occupant could buy a duplex and rent out one side for possibly $900 to $1,100 range on rent.  So if your total mortgage payment was $1800, for example, the net difference could be:  $1,800 minus $1,000 = $800 net monthly payment.

Thanks for reading.

Hong and Dianne Lee

DuplexDianne.com Team

 

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Freddie Mac  just reported that interest rates for 30 year mortgages have hit a 39 year low at 4.17%.  The 15 year mortgages rates have dropped to 3.57%.  Combine these insanely low interest rates with buying a duplex and you could get a great investment for the long-term.  Owner occupy one side and lock in on home ownership and an investment simultaneously.  Owning really is less than paying rent with today’s interest rates.

Hong Lee

DuplexDianne.com Team

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The home buyer tax credit has been extended to April 30, 2010.  That is, you must be under contract by that date.  Then the government gives you until June 30, 2010 to actually close on the purchase.  $8k is a good deal to take advantage of while interest rates are hovering around 5%, an all time low for decades!  This tax credit is for owner-occupants and every buyer should check with their CPA for applicability to their situation.

Buy a duplex or a fourplex and let the government help with your investment!  We have posted some new duplex reports at http://www.duplexdianne.com.

Thanks for reading.

Hong Lee/The Duplex Dianne Team

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With all the talk of the $8,000 tax credit for home buyers, not much is said about duplexes.  Does the $8k apply in full if the buyer owner occupies their duplex?  Or does it only apply by half at $4,000?  I checked with my CPA and the tax credit is based on 10% of the purchase price.  So if one half of a duplex exceeds $80k, then the buyer should qualify for the entire credit based on the total purchase.    Or another way is to figure % owner occupied based on total square feet and apply that 10% formula to the purchase price.

By the way, the tax credit for buying expires November 30, 2009.

Hong Lee/Duplex Dianne Team

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